Material topics

Each year, we perform a materiality assessment, gathering input from associates, customers, investors and other external stakeholders to assess our biggest impacts on society. The outcomes of the materiality assessment inform our decision making on where we aim to make an impact and feed into the Sustainable Retailing strategic framework.

The process we followed to create the materiality assessment included customer feedback and engagement with several internal and external stakeholders through surveys. A matrix was formed based on the received information, and subsequently reviewed internally and approved by the Ahold Delhaize Executive Committee. The matrix reflects stakeholders’ feedback on the scale of Ahold Delhaize’s impact and how much the topics influence their decision-making on environmental, social and economic topics.

The 2018 material topics have not changed significantly from the 2017 assessment, but four topics have moved up noticeably: human rights, sustainable agriculture, plastics and transparency.

Our materiality assessment helps us to ensure that our strategy and reporting are in line with our most significant impacts and stakeholder expectations. The results of this assessment, which often drive key business risks and opportunities, have been included in our Enterprise Risk Management process; see How we manage risk for more information. The 2018 materiality analysis will be used as an input as we move forward on our Leading Together strategy and set new sustainable retailing goals.